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4 November 2000

To the south there's a hazy white half moon floating in a soft blue sky, and to the west the sky has turned to fire opal. A beautiful end to a beautiful day.

When I set out today, I remembered to wear my field boots, and that meant I could take the path that goes around the heron's pond. To the east end of the pond, a part hidden by trees, I found a sluice. The water has been quite low this year and I doubt it was needed, but there was a clear indication that water has run through that sluce in quantity over the years. On the south side of the pond there is a steep hill where cedars grow. There must be springs that come very near the surface there. Climbing the slope was treacherous today because of all the fallen leaves. Talk about a slippery slope! But I made it up, walked the ridge, and made it down again without mishap. Unfortunately, when I came down I was in the old dump— or maybe midden, is more like it. Broken bottles, rusted metal, and gods know what else. If I'd fallen in there I'd've needed more than a tetanus shot.

All I've got is a small blister on my heel. I've hardly been wearing socks, let alone my field boots, since last May. And I haven't done any serious hiking in a long time. One needs an intrepid companion for that. Hiking alone can be dangerous. But today I was fair to middlin' safe. I minded my steps, and I didn't venture far from civilization— I kept within hollerin' distance. I wish I did have someone to hike with.

Joyce is an excellent hiking companion. She appreciates things, talks intelligently or keeps silence as the mood calls for, and she doesn't get flustered by being lost and spending four hours getting home. But she's off in New Hampster...

Bruce was a good hiking companion, too. But he's off in New Jersey...

Good hiking companions both— though neither of them could sing worth beans— but currently unavailable. Rats.



HIKING COMPANION. Must enjoy hiking in all weather conditions, over all terrains. Ability to notice things and appreciate them a must. Adaptable, resourceful, relaxed, prepared, amused by difficulties, challenges, & getting lost. Intelligent talk or companionable silence as required. Good sense of direction, singing voice a plus. No complainers. Reply to:

This is where I roam: The Madwoman's Range. As you can see, there are a lot of places where a companion is a necessity. Like Oak Hill off to the west of Mowry Street-- which used to be Box Turtle Road before they paved it. (See the topographical map for that.) And over to the east, too; and beyond Sherman Farm Road over to Route 102. And then there's all that undeveloped area around Spring Lake, and that area southwest of Route 100, and—

There's a lot of exploring to do. A lot to see out there in the woods. Got to find me a companion.

Here's a link to Harrisville on


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